2 Samuel 11:1-27 – David and Bathsheba



2 Samuel 11:1-27.




ILLUS.: The world news has been awash this year with the sexual behaviour of US President Bill Clinton. When Janet and I were in the States and Mexico in January the story about Monica Lewinsky had just broken. It was non-stop reporting and comment. It is still not over yet.

The heir to the British throne is constantly under media scrutiny with regard to his relationship with Mrs. Camilla Parker-Bowles.


Adultery and extra-martial sexual liaisons are so accepted as part of everyday life that on both side of the Atlantic the popularity of these men has actually risen.


We live in a society were adulterous relationships occur in their 1000’s every day. Marriage is no longer considered by the majority to be the only place were sexual activity is permitted. Anyone who holds the view that sexual relations should only take place between one man and one woman who are married to each other in a life-long commitment are considered out-dated, impractical and narrow-minded.


So what is the big deal with David and Bathsheba? He is just acting like princes and presidents throughout history. This may have been relevant in the old days but in our sexually liberated society is it really that relevant?


The Story of David and Bathsheba is recorded in the Bible to show us a number of things – two major lessons 1) that sin always has consequences 2) that sin is an offence against a holy God – no matter what people may think.


The Bible never flatters its heroes! All the men and women of the Bible have feet of clay and the scriptures paint a realistic picture – it doesn’t ignore or deny the  unsavory bits.


David is a man who loved God – he is still a man after God’s heart BUT he is not perfect – he sinned. BUT before we get on our moral high-horses we need to remember that his sin was no greater than your sin or mine! Sure, his was intensified because of who he was and because he handled it badly – but it was just sin – an act of disobedience that he later came to regret with bitter tears!


I am not trying to justified what David did but to put it in its proper perspective. If we tut-tut and shake our self-righteous heads in shame over what David did then we have completely missed the point – the warning that this story brings to us. 1 Corinthians 10:12 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (NIV)


This is not a finger-pointing exercise – this is a sad story in the life of a great man of God.

Maybe you are sitting here today and you have failed God miserably – not necessarily adultery – something else! Welcome to the club! We have all, in some way, failed God miserably! The consequences of some sins are more obvious and more serious than others – but they are all sinful.


David’s story is here to teach us about the seriousness of sin and the wonder of God’s forgiveness – it is also here as a warning to turn us away from sin when we are tempted.


We have learned many things from David’s successes and godly life – let’s see what we can learn from his failures




As we look at this segment of David’s life we need to remember that we are not dealing with a wild rebel or sexual pervert, but with a godly man who fell into sin. And that sin had devastating consequences for his family, his kingship and the nation. Sin always has consequences even if we are foolish enough to think we had gotten away with it. That is why we need to take to heart 1 Corinthians 10:12 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (NIV)

We are never too old or too young to fall!


David was about 50 years old and had been king for about 20 years.

The seeds of this sin had been sown long before David went for an afternoon stroll on his roof patio.

Way back in chapter 5 when David became King over Israel we read these words … 2 Samuel 5:12-13 12 And David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.

13 After he left Hebron, David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him. (NIV)


David increased the number of women in his life – he was only doing what was acceptable for kings in those days to do –

No doubt he would have thought – “What is wrong with it, everyone is doing it!”

– Sound familiar!? –

The problems was that this action of David’s was in direct contradiction to God’s instructions … Deuteronomy 17:14-17

14 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” 15 be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite. 16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” 17 He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. (NIV)


He was not to accumulate large numbers of horses, many wives, or much silver/gold.

David was faithful on the first and third but he failed on the second. David was a man of passion. Even though he had a whole harem of wives and concubines his sensual passion was not abated.

King David took another man’s wife even though he had a whole Harem of women. The fact is that passion for sex is not satisfied by a whole Harem of women it is increased.

Having many women doesn’t reduce a man’s libido it excites it … stimulates it. David mistakenly thought as many do that to satisfy this passion I will have more women.

This is one of the lies of the secular society we live in “If you satisfy your drives then they will go away.!”

This doesn’t only apply to sex – if applies to money “Those who have, want more!” – the same is true of power, pleasure, pornography, food, alcohol, drugs, gossip, ….

We mistakenly think that we satisfy our desires and passions by indulging then when the reality is that we need to control them to satisfy them.


David allowed his sensual passions to get out of control.

BUT these also need opportunity. Things were well for David – he was at ease –

We are often most vulnerable when things are going our way – in hard times we tend to be more dependent on God, as David had been as a refugee and living in the desert – It is when life is easy and things are going well that we need to be extra vigilant.



2 Samuel 11:1    1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab ……………… But David remained in Jerusalem. (NIV)


David was in bed when he should have been in battle!


There is much truth in the proverb “The devil finds work for idle hands!”

If David had been were he was supposed to have been he would not have been wondering around on the roof after his siesta.

He looked down from his roof into a nearby courtyard and he saw a woman bathing – and was she a knockout, absolutely stunning! And David’s hormones go into overdrive!


WAS BATHSHEBA AT LEAST A LITTLE AT FAULT HERE for not being more discreet about where she bathed!

Feminists would chew me up and spit me out for even suggesting that Bathsheba should have been more careful as to where she bathed and how she dressed!

A woman should be entitled to dress and act as she pleases – and if a man is turned on by her behaviour and by what he sees, then that’s his problem.

BUT for Christians it is not enough to merely avoid sin ourselves – The NT insists that Christians must ensure that they do not become stumbling blocks to others.


I don’t want to cast blame on Bathsheba or try and minimize David guilt in this matter BUT it is very important in our society where ANYTHING goes to remember that if you are going to be part of the answer to the common battles with sensuality, rather than part of the problem, Then you need to give careful thought to your actions, your dress and your conduct!!

It is generally true that in the areas of sexual attraction – men are stimulated by what they see far more than women are. So men need to be careful what the look at and women need to be careful how the dress!


There is much in our society to tempt men sexually – whether the advert is for cars, computers or garden tools there is invariably a half naked / topless women draped over it! Why? – it is attention grabbing!

Men, we can’t stop seeing things – pornography is everywhere BUT we can stop gazing lingeringly at it.


ILLUS.: A goose and a vulture flying over the same areas – they both see a dead carcass BUT the vulture will descend to indulge!


David didn’t just see – he stared and lingered and lusted and sent for Bathsheba – not that Bathsheba resembled a dead carcass, anything but, she was a gorgeous knockout, stunningly beautiful.


Our desires and passions are incredibly powerful and at that moment David’s passions were out of control….

It makes no difference whether it is sexual desire, or ambition, or vanity, or power, or a desire for revenge, or love of fame, or greed for money …….. AT THAT MOMENT God becomes unreal to us and we lose all sense of reality, our only goal is to satisfy our desire!


When we are overwhelmed by desires of this intensity we are in no fit state to fight them ….. there is only one course of action, be like Joseph when faced with the over-sexed Mrs. Potiphar, and run for your life.


1 Corinthians 6:18          18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. (NIV)

1 Timothy 6:10-11 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (NIV)


David is told that Bathsheba is the wife of Uriah – usual as people where mostly identified by relation to their fathers or grandfathers – was this a warning from a concerned  servant to his master “The Lady is married!” BUT David was not listening – his hormones were ruling his head!


2 Samuel 11:4 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home. (NIV)


Her menstrual cycle just finished – hence the purifying – the writer leaves no doubt that the baby later born in David’s – no excuses!


She came to David – he seduced her – the slept together – a typical one-night-stand. There is no indication that David forced himself upon her. But He was a powerful King and she a commoner!


Let’s be under no illusion – there was great enjoyment in this encounter – it was very pleasurable – Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that sin is not enjoyable.  Of course it is enjoyable, why else would we do it?

The David only shows us the beauty, the ecstasy, the fun, the excitement, the adventure of stolen desires.

He [the devil] never tells the heavy drinker “Tomorrow you will have a hangover, you will eventually become a alcoholic, it will ruin your family and your career!”

He never tell the person who is a work-aholic it could destroy your marriage and you will end up lonely and bitter!”

He never tells the adulterer of the physical consequences and emotional debris that will result!


ILLUS.: sexual revolution of 1960’s/70’s told us marriage was outdated – trial marriages and co-habitation were better BUT “ Data from the general household survey (1993) shows that a couple who cohabit before marriage are, on average, twice as likely to divorce as a couple who do not cohabit before marriage”

Those who cohabit are far more likely than married men/women or singles to experience depression, anxiety, insecurity, neurotic behaviour ……. Abortion is about 8x higher among cohabiting women than among married women …… [EN – Sept.’98 pp.12-13]


We could go on and on …. All the consequences we are not told!!!

When the penalties of sin are due the devil is no where to be found!!





“David I am pregnant!

At this point David had two courses of action – he could fall on his knees in repentance towards God or he could attempt to cover up – He chose the latter!


He went to elaborate plans to get Uriah back to Jerusalem to sleep with his wife but Uriah at this point was far more honourable than David – the plan didn’t work so the next thing was to remove Uriah altogether.

He implicates Joab, his commander in Chief in a devious murder plot and Uriah is eliminated – killed in the heat of battle!


David probably breathed a sigh of relief – it was done and he had gotten away with it!

He waits till Bathsheba’s period of mourning is over then he marries her and in due course the baby is born.

BUT even in David’s day people could count to nine!


So who is David hiding from? When you act in panic you don’t think logically. In fact you don’t think. You react! We cover up, deny, smear over, scheme until we have enmeshed ourselves in a maze of lies that we can’t untangle!




Even if no one knew what David had done which seems unlikely we read these words …

2 Samuel 11:27 27 ………….. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD. (NIV)


Be sure your sins will find you out!

What a man sows that also shall he reap!


For the rest of his life David would bear the consequences of the one night of sensual pleasure!

We will see next week David’s repentance and God’s amazing forgiveness and restoration of fellowship with David. However there were consequences – there always are!

Already we have seen how David’s uncontrolled passion entangled Bathsheba – It cost Uriah his life as well as some other warriors  .. 2 Samuel 11:24 24 Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king’s men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.” (NIV)


Joab, the Army Commander-in-Chief, was implicated – this would come back to bite David in the future!


ILLUS.: From the Daily Star – Teacher Peter Simpson jumped in front of a train because accused of indecently assaulting a pupil – a history – marriage breakup … READ…

Carl and Susan split up because Carl had a liaison with Sarah – see the hurt it is causing both of them and their Children Billy and Libby — {Neighbours}


Now only does it affect those around David – we know from Ps. 32 & 51 that David became trapped in a whirlpool of misery. Sleepless nights, Physical illness, Fever, loss of weight, haunted memories — and worst of all so terribly alone, a million miles from God. And he stayed that way in a tangled mess until a friend had the courage to say to him “David, you are the man!” “You are guilty!”


This story stands as a stark warning of the seriousness of sin and its consequences. Our nation is littered with broken hearts and broken lives as a result of sexual infidelity. I won’t bore you with statistics they are readily available [see the latest issue of Evangelicals Now – Lead article “Figures behind family policy”] – Not only is there a huge emotional cost but also a massive financial cost to the nation!

So it is a warning!


BUT if we are guilty – and to a greater or lesser degree we all are, maybe not sexual sin but then surely another areas – we need to know that God is gracious and forgiving if we repent – next week!


Maybe some have been the victims of others sins –

ILLUS.: Children, abused and abandoned; wives whose Husbands walk out; employees whose bosses mistreat them …………

The Bible is full of stories of how God cares for the victims – those who suffer as a result of others sins – God doesn’t always fix everything up, there are certain circumstances of life that just don’t get fixed – some things can’t be undone!

But that doesn’t mean God doesn’t care – he does! And he comforts!


God also forgives the sinner who repents even if he doesn’t remove the consequences.

Forgiveness is freely available to repentant sinners – it is free but it is not cheap, it is very costly – it cost Jesus Christ his life!


This story is not finished – the wonder of God’s grace is seen in his forgiveness of David – next week – don’t miss it!




(Fatal Attraction)


2 Samuel 11:1-27

1.       The lead up to David’s sin.

Acts of sin are seldom isolated but usually have a history.

2.       The act of David’s sin.

 We are more vulnerable to acts of sin when we are idle, successful, unaccountable.

 3.       The cover up of David’s sin.

Not acknowledging our wrongdoing usually panics us into compounding our sins by trying to conceal them and lie about them.

 4.       The consequences of David’s sin.

– Our sins ALWAYS have consequences –  for us and for those around us.




Forgiveness is free to the repentant sinner

BUT it is not cheap – it cost Jesus his life!


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